Today, it happened. The most epic grocery store trip I've experienced yet. The defining parenting moment where everyone is looking at you and your kid, having a tantrum, in public.
Colton had been cranky about getting in the car to go to the store in the first place. He was insistent that he bring his Woody doll, Buzz action figure, and 4 animal figures. As soon as I wrestled him into his car seat amidst protests of "I go PARK! I go PARK!" he tossed all of the toys away. As we begin driving down the road demands are placed to hear one of his favorite song "I like" (which refers to Here in Your Arms by Hellogoodbye). None of these events are super out of the ordinary, so I continue on our merry way to the grocery store.
Parking - great. Getting out of the car - effortless. Walking into the store - no problem. Grabbing a cart and strapping him in - no complaints. We make it through the produce section, deli counter, bread and baked goods, and meats with few issues. He starts throwing his animal figures on the floor - those get taken away. Without any distractions, the frozen foods section is in for a treat. Colton begins screaming. Not crying, not upset, just screaming loudly - red faced, shaking, high pitched scream. I side eye him and try to ignore. I try shushing. I try bribing. He just keeps screaming. Screams turn into "all done-y all done-y" and trying to stand in his seat. Finally, my bribe for snack bars works and we zoom toward the baby section to get him a couple of boxes.
I try keeping him more engaged. "Now we'll get cheese, here hold this cheese; now we're getting eggs, eggs are so yummy." This works for a short while. Mostly between my efforts he is repeatedly demanding to go "see the fishies" in the tanks on the other side of the store. Once we do go to see the fish, we last about one full minute before he is more interested in moving on to something else.
Now we're waiting in line. There are Disney princess pez dispensers in the checkout line - WHY? It distracts him for a bit to hold one until he starts chewing on the package. I take out his animal toys again and they get played with for a few minutes before getting chucked at the people waiting behind us. Halfway through our groceries being bagged Colton stands up and begs to be all done. He WILL.NOT.SIT.DOWN. This is a first. He's definitely stood up before, but he'll always sit back down eventually. He's whining, crying, grasping at me, nothing I can do short of applying some serious physical force will make this kid sit down. I felt all eyes on us as I give in and hold him while I fumble for my wallet, while he cries and whines that he wants my wallet and all of my credit cards and to push the buttons on the credit card machine. I balance holding him in one arm and steering a very full cart out to the parking lot. A nice man asks if I need help and I refuse it.
Out in the parking lot, I manage to strap him in his car seat and full on sobbing ensues. It sounds like I just broke his legs the way he's wailing through the entire time I'm loading up the car, putting away the cart, and halfway through the drive home. We get home and I stick him in his high chair, more cries, and I bribe him with a cup of apple juice so I can unload everything and make him lunch. Mother of the year.
I tell Colton that he needs to stop waking up at 5:30 AM. Obviously he can't handle it.